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Memory said to automatically improve with age

by Medindia Content Team on  October 20, 2003 at 12:14 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Memory said to automatically improve with age
What you do to improve your physical health may actually go to your head, according to researchers.
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It was thought that we were born with a brain and that brain degenerated as we aged until we died, but now research has shown that there are many triggers that make parts of the brain regenerate themselves.

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One of those triggers may be linked to individuals fitness level. Cardiovascular exercise that's done over a longer period of time will tend to reduce the amount of tissue you lose as you age, say researchers .

That includes brain tissue, and losing less of it may mean keeping more precious memories. Researchers looked at MRI scans of people 55 or older and discovered dramatic differences in their brains. The people who were physically fit had gray matter in better shape. It was found that losing weight can also improve memory function.

Losing weight will improve how you regulate your glucose, and we have shown that improved glucose regulation is associated with better memory. Dealing with blood sugar poorly not only affects one's ability to remember but also the size of one area of the brain.

Researchers found that individuals with poor glucose regulation had a smaller hippocampus, the part of the brain dealing with memory. Moderate cardiovascular exercise, such as a brisk 30-minute walk a few times a week, should do the trick, according to the latest study.

Improve with no effort
Problems remembering names or appointments, while unpleasant, means trouble with only a small part of your memory . Intelligent memory works in different parts of the brain from the memory that recalls a spouse's birth date or a friend's name. And intelligent memory grows with age.

Intelligent memory helps people figure things out faster and sparks creativity. It does this by storing memories and skills learned over time. The brain then uses this knowledge to help it learn automatically by itself. This makes it easier to understand situations and solve problems very quickly -- sometimes even subconsciously. As you age, intelligent memory increases because it has added a lot of data to a person's memory storage. So, getting older may mean getting wiser.

Unfortunately, intelligent memory doesn't help you remember where you put your keys, say researchers, but it will teach you to put your keys in the same place every time.
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